Since its creation more than twelve years ago, Big City Mountaineers has become a major provider of outdoor wilderness experiences for teens who live in underserved urban areas. More than 80% of participants are from families with income below the poverty line. Many have never traveled outside of their home county, and most have never spent time in the wilderness. Big City Mountaineers is active in four regions of the United States—the Pacific Northwest, the Rocky Mountains, the San Francisco Bay area, and the Midwest.
The expeditions, led by professional wilderness instructors, give youth between the ages of thirteen and eighteen a chance to have positive role models and mentors. Data gathered over the years indicates that participants are more likely to stay in school and less likely to become violent or use drugs.
Jason Hanold, CEO of Hanold Associates, contributes time and energy to Big City Mountaineers, participating in fundraising climbs and serving on the organization’s board of directors. Mr. Hanold holds a Master of Science in Leadership Action and Influence from Northwestern University.